By Denise DuBois
Cameron McCain is a sweet, goofy six-year-old who recently finished kindergarten at Wacoochee Elementary School. At the end of the school year, his teacher Heather Jones gave him a binder with some special memories inside: the snack bags that his dad, Brent, drew cartoon characters on for Cameron to bring to school. He is happy to flip through the binder and show off his dad’s work and talk about his favorite characters.
Cameron was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder when he was four years old. The disorders cause Cameron to get overstimulated and sometimes it’s hard for him to get ready for school in the mornings, Brandi McCain said.
“Cam was having a meltdown,” Brandi said. “Mornings are hard for him. So Brent started doodling on one of the bags.”
They wanted Cameron to be excited to go to school in the mornings and the cartoon bags were just the trick.
“He got excited and wanted to show it off to his friends, so we found that was one of our many tools to motivate him to go to school and be happy about it. He came home the next day with characters he wanted me to draw,” Brent said.
In a Facebook post, Jones said she thought the bags were printed. When she realized they were hand-drawn, she began saving them for Cameron as a memory he could one day appreciate.
Brent has been drawing since he can remember. His dad would sometimes draw on his paper bags for school.
“I think that’s what gave me the idea,” Brent said. When it’s time to draw, Brent and the boys make art together.
As they learn more about the Sensory Processing Disorder, Brandi said they are more able to help Cameron. They also credited their family, friends and teachers at Wacoochee for learning about ways to help when Cameron is having a hard time.
“Testing and diagnosis was scary,” Brent said. “You don’t want to have something wrong or different with your kid, but no matter the diagnosis, he’s still our kid. He’s a smart, goofy, fun-loving kid.”
Brandi said as Cameron began bringing colorful bags to school, Jones told her other children started coloring on their bags, too.